Vettel delighted to score fifth straight Singapore podium


Sebastian Vettel may have fallen short in his bid to win a fourth straight Singapore Grand Prix at Marina Bay today, but the defending world champion was pleased to extend his streak of podiums at the race to five and pick up just his third top-three finish of the season.

The German driver made a good start to move up to second place, and although he did come close to beating Lewis Hamilton for the race win after the Briton’s final pit stop, he was powerless to stop the Mercedes driver from sweeping to his seventh win of the season.

“It’s a circuit that I really enjoy and really like, the atmosphere is great,” Vettel said. “It’s a tough one, it’s two hours, again we went until the full two hours.

“I had a good start, got past Daniel and then had a decent race, played a little bit with strategy and then the safety car came out at the worst possible moment for us, so we tried to stay out with the last set of tires and make them work, which was very borderline – a lot of pressure from Daniel and also from Fernando behind, but I was very happy to make it P2.”

The Singapore Grand Prix is one of the most demanding races on the calendar, running in hot and humid conditions for almost two hours, with a number of drivers suffering from dehydration after the race. However, Vettel had no such problem thanks to his podium finish.

“It is, yes, it’s quite hot,” he said. “The cars are sliding a lot so you have to focus quite hard, but it’s definitely a race that we all enjoy as drivers because it’s such a big challenge, and to stand up here, you get a cool bottle of champagne which is quite nice.”

With this result, Vettel has moved back into fifth place in the drivers’ championship ahead of Williams’ Valtteri Bottas, who dropped outside of the points in the final few laps of the race as his tires faded.

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10-3 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 7 p.m. to USA Network. Peacock will have flag-to-flag coverage.



Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III